The Intern Lowdown: Get the Most out of Your Internship
I've had a few internship experiences, and along the way I've learned a lot! It's funny to think back on my first internship and see all the areas where I could have done things differently or gotten more out of the experience.
I don't want anyone to miss out on a great experience beacuse they don't know how to act or what to do, so I'm here to help! I've been thinking back on my old internships and my current one here with Fox 47 to figure out exactly what makes for a great internship experience.
The first part is actually finding an internship program that will fit with you and your goals, I covered that here. The next part is completely up to you!
Never Be Bored
There is always something you can be doing. If you have finished everything you're working on, your first instinct should be to ask your boss what else you can do. I know that seems obvious but when I first started interning I was always worried I would be annoying mysupervisor if I kept asking questions, now I know that's not the case!
Ask a Million Questions
Like I said above, don't be afraid to ask your supervisor questions! Beyond asking what you can work on, ask a question anytime you are unsure of something. Or, if you're curious about something else the company is dong, go ahead and ask about it- it just might lead to a fun, new project for you.
Always say, "Yes"
Never turn down a project or experience! It may not sound fun or it may sound really challenging, but everything you do at your internship is a learning experience. On top of that, volunteering for things is great too! You'll get the most out of your internship if you go outside your comfort zone, this is a time to learn about yourself and the field you want to work in, so get in there!
Keep in Contact Once it's Over
Your internship may be ending, but your relationships don't have to! It's a good idea to leave your boss with a handwritten thank-you note, and every now and again reach out to see how things are going at the office or share something you think they might enjoy or find useful. Another reason to stay in touch: You can ask for a letter of reccommendation when applying for jobs, study abroad, grad school, etc.
This is probably the most important and also the hardest. As an intern, you will probably feel like you can only do what's asked of you, and that's sort of true. You don't know how to do everything and you don't know what needs to be done. This doesn't mean you don't have opportunities to take initiative and be proactive! I suggest brainstorming projects your department might want to do or researching your company's field and looking at what competitors are doing and what the public is saying. Really, anything you do that is above and beyond what you are asked looks great and gives you a leg up.